Tatyana and I are staying at a friend’s place in the South Beach section of San Francisco, about three blocks NW of Oracle Park. It’s a magnificent two-story condo with all the amenities (including excellent wifi). We couldn’t be more grateful for the hospitality.

There’s just one problem, and that’s the fact that the place has no heat to speak of, and in fact feels like the David Lean ice house in Dr. Zhivago. I’m trying to remedy the situation as we speak, but for now the only thing I can do is boil water in the kitchen, which helps a little bit.

It’s not like it’s cold outside — 48 degrees is T-shirt weather for New Yorkers. But the holiday atmosphere in San Francisco is damp and windy and bone-chilling all the same. A half-hour ago I went across the street for a cappuccino, and I instantly felt the horror of the howling ice winds off the bay. If I wasn’t properly dressed I’d be dead in less than an hour.